• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Global confirmed cases pass 25 million; 90% of countries have faced disruption to health systems; WHO warns about opening up too quickly.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now reached more than 25.4 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths now stands at more than 850,000.

India has reported 69,921 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall total to nearly 3.7 million. It represents the lowest daily jump in six days.

New Jersey and California, USA, are to allow limited indoor dining again. New Jersey will lift restrictions from Friday, while the easing in California will only take effect in 19 counties where transmission rates are lower.

Spain has registered more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, the country's health emergency chief told a press conference yesterday.

The European Commission has said it will contribute to a World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine initiative. The Commission will provide 400 million euros (US$479.5 million) in guarantees to COVAX.

Victoria, Australia has reported its lowest rise in virus-related deaths in two weeks. Positive tests were at a seven-week low. The state was the epicentre for an outbreak of cases in the country.

coronavirus, health, COVID19, pandemic

What is the World Economic Forum doing to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications - a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 is dominating companies’ risks perceptions.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.

2. Disruption to health systems

The survey covered 105 countries from March to June 2020, and found that low- and middle-income countries faced the greatest difficulties.

Most countries reported that elective and routine services were suspended. But, critical care, such as cancer screening or HIV therapy, has also seen interruptions in low-income countries.

disruption health healthcare health services health systems coronavirus COVID-19
Disruption has been highest in low-income countries.
Image: WHO

"The survey shines a light on the cracks in our health systems, but it also serves to inform new strategies to improve healthcare provision during the pandemic and beyond,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "COVID-19 should be a lesson to all countries that health is not an ‘either-or’ equation. We must better prepare for emergencies but also keep investing in health systems that fully respond to people’s needs throughout the life course."

3. Can't 'pretend the pandemic is over': WHO

"If countries are serious about opening up, they must be serious about suppressing transmission and saving lives," he said. Opening up without control over the virus is a 'recipe for disaster', he added.

And, while the WHO supports efforts to re-open economies and societies, he stressed the need to do this safely.

"No country can just pretend the pandemic is over."

He outlined the four essential things that everyone can do to 'take control' of the virus.

1. Prevent amplifying events, where clusters of people gather.

2. Reduce deaths by protecting vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and essential workers.

3. Individuals should protect themselves and others by avoiding the 'three Cs' - closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

4. Governments must take action to find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine contacts.